Trump ally offers grotesque defense for sexual abuse accusation


A lawyer working for a megachurch pastor, whom Donald Trump once lauded as a “spiritual adviser,” has accused a 12 year-old girl of initiating “inappropriate” sexual conduct with his client.

Last month, Robert Morris, who until recently lead the Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas, was publicly accused of sexual assault, by Cindy Clemishire. Clemishire claimed that the pastor began abusing her when she was only 12, starting in 1982 and continuing for five years. At the time, Morris was a traveling evangelist and a friend of her family’s.

Twenty-five years later, Clemishire realized that what had happened to her was a crime, and hired attorney Gentner Drummond to sue Morris for $50,000, according to NBC.

In January 2007, Drummond wrote a letter to Morris’s attorney J. Shelby Sharpe that contained a draft lawsuit, explaining that the pastor had convinced Clemishire that “they were having a special relationship that had to remain secret,” and that she was “responsible for what he did to her.”

In a response letter from February 2007, obtained by NBC Tuesday, Sharpe defended the pastor by repeating Morris’s claim that Clemishire was responsible for what had happened.

“It was your client who initiated inappropriate behavior by coming into my client’s bedroom and getting in bed with him, which my client should not have allowed to happen,” Sharpe wrote.

Sharpe also claimed Clemishire “acted inappropriately with two other men” who stayed at her home during the same time period. Clemishire has denied that accusation and said that she was also sexually assaulted by those two men. In one instance, Morris had allegedly instructed her to go into the bedroom of one of the men.

Morris offered Clemishire $25,000 if she would sign a nondisclosure agreement. When she refused, the talks fell apart, and she walked away with nothing.

When contacted by NBC, Sharpe denied knowing that Clemishire was a child, although her age was clearly stated in the letter from Drummond, who is now Oklahoma’s attorney general. When the reporter offered to send Sharpe a copy of the email from Drummond, he said he didn’t have time to read it and declined to provide his email address.

Drummond confirmed Clemishire’s description of the 2007 negotiations, but did not give a comment.

Since the allegations were made public, Morris has resigned from leading the megachurch, which Trump visited in 2020. The former president had also named the pastor to his spiritual advisory board.

The post Trump Ally Offers Grotesque Defense for Sexual Abuse Accusation appeared first on New Republic.


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